Anyone familiar with the horrors of the online “manosphere”, Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs), or similar will probably be aware of their sleazy manifestations walking among us; the pick-up artists (PUAs).
A friend recently had a bit of time where she was out dating between relationships and, while mostly finding dates online, occasionally was approached in person.
This is a story of one of those times, and how she came to discover a real-life PUA who makes money off desperate men by promising them what they think they’re being cruelly denied by the world.
Made notorious also by Neil Strauss’ book, The Game, these men are the epitomy of entitled, selfish, insecure men and a very real danger to women.
While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to go out and sleep with people, cultivating an attitude of “I deserve to have people sleep with me” and “women are things to be manipulated into doing what I want” are dangerous and – let’s be clear – rapist-like things to believe.
Men need to be angry about this breed of creep, too – they are the people that make women even more afraid to reciprocate when interactions with strangers happen in their lives. There’s a real chance a man talking to us when we’re going about our daily business is putting some “PUA technique” into practice. We want none of that, so if you’re angry that, as a regular dude, you feel you can’t talk to women – maybe direct your anger at these guys instead of women trying to just keep safe.
On to her story.
Don’t catch any of ‘em
“Newly single, naively optimistic, and having finally cracked how to shave my legs without leaving a weird band of hair around my ankle, I was so ready for the London dating scene.
I have no problem embracing online dating. However, a combination of being taken with the idea of brushing hands with someone as we both reach for the last dark chocolate Bounty, plus the volume of “Hey babe, hot!!” type messages women inevitably receive on OK Cupid, meant that I was happy enough to give my number to Simon when he approached me while I was out with friends.
The initial contact was short, sweet, and to the point. The efficiency of it did make me wonder whether he’d practiced his pulling tactic, but being the generous and inquisitive soul I am (not to mention selflessly hoping he ended up being take-you-home-to-meet-the-parents material as well as slammin’ hot), I decided to throw caution to the wind and go with it.
I should add at this point that, like most, I have been on some comically bad dates, including:
- drinks in cinema foyers
- multipacks of crème eggs proffered in a car park
- pictures of ex-girlfriends on mugs that I have been sipping from
- unexpected breast honking as I’m mid-cappuccino.
Just a selection.
But my date with Simon managed to top even these incidents. The really unsettling thing was how formulaic it was. Everything I said felt like it was processed and analysed, completely ruining any chance of genuine and spontaneous conversation.
Laughs were few and far between (coming from a woman who can be set off by a slightly unusual doorbell tune, this is significant), and generic “we men, you women” comments were frequent. His attitude shone when he explicitly told me that we ladeez are lucky, as it has to be up to the menfolk to do the dating leg-work; all we have to do is “flutter our eyelids and flick our hair”. These are two activities I have never knowingly undertaken, as I tend to be far busier checking my clothes for soup stains if I am in the presence of someone I fancy.
The completely unreciprocated and repeated physical contact he initiated was another cause for concern; it was awkward, very one-sided and clearly unwanted. And I can’t help but feel that a different man, with a genuine interest in reading the situation and wanting to engage with me for who I was, would have noticed this and stopped.
There were also some pretty blunt, forward comments about my figure. Half an hour into an orange juice on a Saturday afternoon, when I am already sending clear “back off” signals, this is not what I want to hear.
I left it at that, sent a polite “thanks but no thanks” message and went about my day. When, a few months later, I decided to delete his number for good, something compelled me to conduct a little research. A few clicks on, I stumbled upon his PUA page and was mortified, terrified, and extremely amused all at once.
Despite the hilarity/irony, and the fact that one of his modules entertainingly promises to help men “reduce flakes” (all you need is a good shampoo amirite tho, lads), I was deeply, deeply unsettled by the message, attitude and behaviour he is promoting through this line of ‘work’.
Not to mention the astounding rates he charges, from a £500 weekend bootcamp, to a genuinely terrifying £12,000 to become his ‘apprentice’ for the year. No man is “entitled to meet beautiful women”, and the fact he is teaching his customers that the exact opposite is true (and bleeding them dry for the privilege), before unleashing them on this city’s unwitting womenfolk, could not be scarier.”
So that you get an idea, this list is copied directly from his website. Just one weekend with this man will teach you the following (which range from the utterly nonsensical to the hugely offensive).
Notice the attention to detail in its presentation:
- The most honest and powerful insight into the female mind
- Conversation techniques that will never leave you running out of things to say ever again
- POWERFUL sexual escalation techniques ,The ability to read women and understand what they want
- Mastering the art of confident and alpha bodnoy[sic] language
- Demonstrating HIGH VALUE to the maximum level.
- 100 percent honest INSTANT feedback
- On demand demonstrations with detailed break downs
- Same Day lay and threesome techniques THAT WORK
- Rapid verbal escalation
From his twitter feed, if you can stomach it:
Her account ends there, thankfully. Others, I fear, are not so lucky.
Again, there’s obviously no problem with trying to go out and meet someone, or get over personal anxieties you feel are limiting you. But the painting of women as a homogenous group of shallow receptacles waiting for you to push the right buttons is all manner of messed up.
Perhaps someone will report on his shockingly expensive August 20th event. The concern is how many more manipulative dissent-ignoring young men he’s unleashing on our city. Londoners, stay vigilant!
At least attendees will have a bit less money to travel..?